I had wanted to see the new Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville since it opened in late 2011, so I made a Spring trek from Chicago to see the museum and some of the surrounding sites. The countryside, particularly near Eureka Springs, is really beautiful. I love dogwoods, so Spring is a great time to go when everything is so lush and green and the dogwood dot the woods and trails. Fall is equally beautiful according to my local friends.
Here is what I saw, did and recommend. I saw some great art, experienced wonderful nature, had some great food and enjoyed being with some longtime friends. I recommended flying into the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport southwest of Bentonville and north of Fayetteville (XNA). There are non-stop flights from several major cities, but be aware that prices can be high. Other options include Branson MO, Little Rock AR, Tulsa OK and Joplin MO.